bne IntelliNews – Coronavirus now present in all countries of central and south-eastern Europe as Montenegro confirms first cases

Montenegro has confirmed its first two cases of the coronavirus (COVID-19), Prime Minister Dusko Markovic said in a press conference broadcast live on March 17 by RTCG.

Montenegro, with a population of just 631,000, is the latest country in the Central and Southeastern Europe region to report a coronavirus outbreak. The virus is now present in countries in the region and continues to spread despite efforts by governments to contain it.

In Montenegro, the government has previously taken steps to delay the outbreak, closing schools and public facilities and banning public gatherings.

Of the two infected, one returned from the United States 12 days ago, while the other traveled to Spain. Both cases are in the capital Podgorica and in the Adriatic coastal town of Ulcinj.

“It is clear that the first cases of infections were not unexpected and it is very likely that soon new cases will be discovered,” said Markovic.

He urged people to exercise discipline and follow the measures adopted so that the spread of the virus is contained. Montenegro has determined four locations for the quarantine.

The largest outbreaks to date on the continent are in Western Europe, where 27,980 cases had been reported in Italy as of March 17. The other countries with major epidemics are Spain (9,191 cases), France (6,573) and Germany (6,012), according to the March 17 update from the World Health Organization (WHO ).

The worst outbreak to date in central Europe is in Czechia, where 383 cases had been confirmed as of March 17. Slovenia, which borders Italy, had 253 cases and Estonia 205.

Joan J. Holland